BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Just a few weeks before the start of the European Championship, the German Football Association has extended its cooperation with one of its most important business partners. The automotive group VW will remain general sponsor, the DFB and VW announced at a joint event in Berlin on Wednesday evening. The contract, which has been in place since 2019, will therefore be extended until July 31, 2028.

In addition to the men's and women's national teams, the cooperation also includes the junior teams and the DFB Cup. Cooperation with the 21 regional associations is also planned as a link to the soccer grassroots. VW replaced Mercedes-Benz as the main sponsor a good five years ago.

No details about finances

Neither side provided any details about financial terms. The new VW contract is expected to bring the DFB around 20 million euros a year. Negotiations on the contract extension had dragged on for a long time. The national team's recent poor sporting performance at the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and the 2021 European Championships is also said to have been a key issue.

"We support soccer at the top and across the board: for young players, women and men. We also support inclusion projects, the amateur sector and voluntary work. Volkswagen and the DFB stand for Germany. We will continue the effective double pass with the DFB and continue to stand together on the pitch in a figurative sense," said VW CEO Oliver Blume.

Next important deal after Nike coup

For the DFB, the continuation of the collaboration is another commercial success. In March, the switch from long-term supplier Adidas to Nike from 2027 was announced. Although this caused criticism in the highest government circles, it will reportedly bring the financially strapped DFB a high double-digit million increase in revenue.

"We are very pleased that, together with Volkswagen, we will continue this long-term commitment to all of soccer in Germany, from the amateurs to our men's and women's national teams," DFB President Bernd Neuendorf was quoted as saying in a statement. The head of the association missed the appointment in Berlin as he is currently attending the FIFA Congress in Bangkok. There, the DFB hopes to be awarded the Women's World Cup 2027 together with Belgium and the Netherlands on Friday./aer/DP/men